The True Up household has been visited by various virii and allergies and mixtures of both this week, so I wasn’t able to participate in Local Quilt Shop Day to the extent that I’d hoped (or anything else, for that matter), but, even though it’s past closing time already, I couldn’t let the day pass without a shout-out to my town’s local fabric stores. OK OK, not all of them are quilt stores, but I’m all about breaking down the barriers between fabric worlds — all have something you can use for quilts, I’m sure.
Austin has had an almost complete fabric scene overhaul in the past couple years, with a few tried-and-true local institutions sadly closing their doors (Ginger’s, Fanny’s, Silk Road) but just as many fresh, young upstarts springing up to take their place. Today, we have settled in to a really nice variety, both geographically and selection-wise. My list below isn’t 100% comprehensive (see even more Austin indie quilt shops in Form & Fabric’s Pinterest roundup for Quiltcon!) but covers the shops I know best.
Bolt Fabrics — Opened by some of Fanny’s staff just down the street on S. Lamar, and featuring lots of the cool, contemporary interior fabrics we all came to count on.
The Common Thread — Housed in a beautiful, airy, centrally located space and featuring an fabrics, notions, books, and patterns for apparel and crafts. While the focus is on fashion fabrics, there is a little bit of everything. Fabric brands include Liberty of London, Echino, Art Gallery Fabrics, and Cloud9 Organics, and they also stock oilcloth, and laminated cotton, a small selection of vintage fabrics, and organics.
Fabricker — April Kling learned the ropes of the fabric business from a stint at Hancock Fabrics, then branched out on her own, moving from popular trunk shows to her own retail space. She is helping fill Austin’s much-needed niche of fashion fabrics from her Airport Blvd. location. She also hosts swaps and other cool events.
Form and Fabric — primarily sells their selection of modern designer fabrics online, but occasionally opens up their (expanding!) North Loop space to the public for special events and trunk shows.
Quilt Store Inc — This is the biggest, oldest, and most “traditional” quilt shop in Austin, but even if you’re a “modern” person, there is plenty to love here. In addition to the miles of quilting fabric bolts, they have a wide selection of battings, threads, notions, books, and patterns. They have a nice big classroom area which makes me want to take one of their classes someday.
remnants:fiber[culture] — Jessica Sloan has opened up a big, airy, inviting space to house her selection of inspiring modern fabrics (mostly quilting fabrics). Its north location is serving an historically fabric-bereft area of town, to boot. She even has a play space so you can plop the kids down while you shop, so maybe they won’t grow up thinking of trips to the fabric store as a big boring drag, like my husband did. Jessica also offers a long-arm quilting service.
Spruce Upholstery — Frequently featured on Design*Sponge, so you know they’re fancy! They offer custom upholstered furnishings, upholstery services, classes, and a mind-blowing selection of fabric — from high-end brands like Knoll and Designers Guild to indie designers/True Up favorites Skinny Laminx, Ink & Spindle, Mod Green Pod, and Timorous Beasties. Their blog, DVDs, and soon-to-be-released book is spreading the upholstery gospel to the meek and timid.
Stitch Lab — Owner Leslie Bonnell’s amazing space on South First has become the hub of the Austin sewing scene during its first few years in business. A roster of local crafty celebs offer a variety of classes in sewing, surface design, embroidery, millinery, knitting, and more. It’s just a wonderful, inspiring, energizing place. The Stitch Lab also houses a fabric shop with a great variety of modern cotton prints from domestic and Japanese manufacturers, and also wool felt, PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabrics, oilcloth/chalkcloth, then of course there’s lot of needlework patterns, books, and notions. Keep track of their current fabric selection here on Flickr.
TexStyles — Imagine my surprise when I was driving in my former South Austin residential neighborhood and saw a sign for a “Fabric Sale” down the street. Housed in a strip mall that was built way before the term “strip mall” came to be, TexStyles (say it out loud in case you don’t get the double entendre!) is a truly unique shop. The owners keep odd hours, making frequent jaunts to L.A. for inventory (they take requests!) but are always on call for “fabric emergencies.” The shop has quickly become a favorite of UT Fashion students for their eclectic and affordable mix of fashion fabrics.
Valli & Kim — This quilt shop is out my way in Dripping Springs, housed in a former grocery store that unfortunately did not survive too long. I haven’t been there yet, but hear they have a great selection of Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler, and other fabric illuminati.